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May 2017


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RCCI News May 2017

 

 

2017 Customer Experience Survey
 
As Spring Semester ends, we would like to survey the RCCI community to gauge users overall experience with RCCI this academic year. Please consider filling out the following survey as it helps RCCI identify what it is doing well, opportunities for improvements and it helps RCCI set priorities for the coming year around engagement. It will take about two minutes to complete the survey. RCCI sincerely appreciates feedback.
 
Customer Experience Survey 


HPC Major Upgrade and Maintenance

Over the next few months, RCCI will introduce a significant upgrade to the HPC infrastructure including new compute nodes, GPU nodes as well as improving the network bandwidth within the cluster from 10 Gigabit ethernet to 25 Gigabit. Specific updates on our progress will be shared periodically over the summer and probably into the Fall. We are also working on the cluster OS upgrade from RHEL 6 to RHEL 7. If you are interested in becoming the tester for this new cluster, please contact us at hpc-support@case.edu.

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As always, if you have suggestions for items that you feel would be useful to include in the newsletter, please send them to rcci-newsletter@case.edu or fill out our 
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Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure (RCCI) has completed a project to upgrade the network in the labs of Roger French, Director of the SDLE Research Center in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Professor French has a number of laboratories and offices that house personnel in the White Building. Part of the scope of his team involves longitudinal studies of the efficiency of solar panels and photovoltaic materials over time.
 
As his team grew, Professor French expanded into an adjoining room and created office space for a number of his researchers. At the time, he noted that the network performance for the occupants in these offices seemed slow. When Cindy Martin was brought in as the Cyberinfrastructure Engineer in the fall, she initiated some testing of the network in White and agreed that the speed could be improved. 
 
Baseline testing for the wired faceplates showed an average download speed of 9.5 Mbps. Cindy worked with Professor French and the Network Engineering and Unified Communications teams to design a parallel path that would deliver bandwidth to the offices at a speed of 10 Gbps. In February, network access switches were installed in two of the offices that offered GigabitEthernet copper connections and 10 Gigabit fiber optic ports. Professor French's team were migrated into the new switches and immediately saw a dramatic improvement in their network speed.  Comparison testing of the same faceplates after the upgrade showed download speeds of 600-700 Mbps. 
 
Professor French Gives a Glowing Testimonial of the Project: 
 
"Over the past two years, the SDLE Research Center has migrated its CRADLE, Hadoop/Hbase/Spark distributed computing cluster from our own servers into RedCat along with increasing its size to 36 Terabytes of HDFS storage. We have time-series datastreams from thousands of PV power plants and Building's Smart Meters, spectroscopy and images, that we study in our Energy and Materials research.
 
With the dual goal of being able to A) stream our thousands of time-series systems into CRADLE and B) have our group of 25 researchers actively developing and running our data-driven analytic pipelines on thousands of systems and samples, we quickly ran into network speed issues, working from White bldg to KSL data center on campus.
 
With our NSF CyberInfrastructure Engineer's work, she was able to identify the network bottlenecks were located in the White Building, where the 2 Gbit building connection was saturated by our groups use.  Cindy therefore was able to establish for SDLE 2 10 Gbit connections for our offices, that jump straight through the building out to the higher speed network connections in the engineering quad.
 
The impact of this has been tremendous.  We would often experience afternoons, where our internet speeds slowed to 10 to 100 kbits/sec, and with this, research ground to a halt.  Now with our improved networking, we can successfully "live inside" our CRADLE Data Lifecycle Environment doing our data-driven analytics! "



 

Q:  How did your journey bring you to CWRU?

"Circuitously! I came to CWRU first as an undergraduate in the Middle Ages (i.e., early 90s); did a degree-gathering tour of some other area universities; then returned to work at CWRU—first at Kelvin Smith, then at the Baker-Nord Center before being welcomed into [U]Tech."

Q: What excites you about your job?

"First and foremost: The people and the culture. It’s been great to have a job where going to work in enjoyable. Second to that, the diversity of tasks and opportunities affords a consistently diverse “To Do” list. For me, personally, that helps prevent the mental stagnation of repetition."

Q: How do you collaborate with researchers across campus?

"The two primary ways I collaborate are though consulting on technologies applicable to faculty projects and through teaching some of RCCI’s Exploring and Tinkering workshops."

Q: What technologies are important to you?

"As a self-proclaimed meliorist, most technologies are important to me! Honestly, though often overlooked as a technology, the printed book is a “top of my list.” In the more machine/digital tech world, I feel that wireless technologies have had the most significant impact on my daily life, particularly in combination with the internet and nearly ubiquitous web access."

Q: What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?

"Oh, boy… There’s so much! The fantastic food and craft beer scene; the West Side Market; SUP on the lake; hiking in the Emerald Necklace; every single one of the Wade Oval institutions; fairly low-cost of living; minimal traffic; heck, even the sports have been pretty darn good!"

Events

Title: Teatime with SDLE (Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension) Center
Hosted By: SDLE Center (White 520)
Time: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 3:30 P.M. - 4:15 P.M. 
Date: Starting from Tuesday, June 6, 2017 until Thursday, July 20, 2017 (7 weeks)
Location: White 411
 
Teatime with SDLE is a 45-minute discourse on various topics that is important and dear to a scientist who has to manage his research data and run consistent analytics on this data. SDLE is a research group headed by Prof. Roger French, Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 
Topics include:

  • Introduction to Data Science: Git, R, Python, Shiny Apps
  • Interactive DSCI Presentations: IO Slides
  • Spark, SparkR, SparklyR 
  • R & Python Packaging
  • Data Analysis: Step-wise Sample Studies, Spectral Analysis, Image Analysis, Time-series Analysis
  • Big Data Analytics:  Pig, Spark, MapReduce

Title: HPC Bootcamp
Format: Seminar/Workshop
Time:  9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. 
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017
Location: Toepfer Room
 
Save the date for the HPC Bootcamp session on September 14, 2017. New users are obligated to attend the session, which introduces the high performance computing, its uses and explains how to use the HPC thoroughly.